Dear PoP – Unemployment in Ward 8 Nearly 30%

Lonely Chairs
Photo by PoPville Flickr user Rukasu1

“Dear PoP,

I was browsing the DC government webpage today and found this information page on unemployment in the District. I was astonished to see that overall employment in Ward 8 was almost 30%. Contrast that to Ward 3’s 3% and you have some pretty serious income disparity in the district.”

October Wards Unemployment ’09

Holy cow 30% unemployment is insane. Ward 8 was also the only Ward to have a nearly 10% increase from ’08. Is there something the city should/could do to alleviate this problem?

29 Comment

  • “Is there something the city should/could do to alleviate this problem?”

    Yes, make it safer and therefore more attractive to investors.

  • Who says there is a shortage of affordable housing in this city? I think Ward 8 has plenty, there is really a shortage of public safety, making many areas undesirable. Ironically, many of the public safety issues in emerging neighborhoods is the result of affordable/subsidized housing. If we get rid of the subsidies and focus on education and crime prevention, won’t we establish functioning neighborhoods that don’t have government housing. If you are making $xxx, you can probably afford to live in zzzzz, zzzz1, zzzz2 zip codes and if you make $yyy, you can live in these zip codes.

  • this is a pretty lazy post … yes, there are seemably unbreakable cycles of poverty and unemployment in this city … some people spend their lives studying these problems … do we really expect to find the solution in a comment on a blog post?

    • Yes, because bloggers, especially the commentators from the peanut gallery are experts on everything. All it takes is one insightful troll and we’ll have 100% employment, world peace, and a puppy

  • I always thought it was funny that I could hire a day laborer at the HD from another country, but I couldn’t go down to the unemployment office and hire a dude from my neighborhood.

    I’m not out to exploit anyone, but I sure as hell am not filling out tax forms for someone to give me a hand for 4 hours on a Saturday.

  • I’m really surprised to read this since Ward 8 has been represented by Marion Barry since 2004 and before that he was Mayor for 16 years.

    From Marion Barry’s City Council website:

    However, Barry could not refuse the numerous and consistent pleas from Ward 8 residents to reenter politics. He decided to run for the Ward 8 City Council seat and won with 96% of the vote in November 2004. The election as Councilmember, Barry is determined to make Ward 8 the best ward in the city. Now in 2008, Barry plans his 10th career political campaign as he runs for re-election to the Ward 8 seat. Today Barry continues to serve this ward, this city and his country….the legacy of building is a lasting one..and it will serve to motivate future generations to lifetime of public service.

  • I think the profile of that guy Derek sheds some light on the issue. Also, its interest how non-migratory many DC residents are, they assume the job comes to them. I migrated 800 miles here for my job, and our Latino brethren often come much farther. So, maybe Ward 8 folks need to migrate a bit to find work appropriate to their skills, whatever they may be.

  • is trying to make a difference. It’s big priority for feds/HUD to change the way they bring services to these areas.

  • Why should they bother trying to find work when they can live of the rich… I mean the people who actually work. Much easier to have your government do everything for you. Then what the government doesn’t give you, you can just fly by Wards 1 – 4 and hit up those horrible gentrifiers to supplement your income with.

    • You basically summed up what happens. The city is full welfare queens, the majority of whom have been receiving benefits for more than 5 years, which means they didn’t even work when the economy was booming.

  • Well, if you look at the stats, Ward 8’s unemployment rate has actually grown at a slower rate (46.5%) than that of any other ward, while War 3’s has grown at the fastest rate (65%). Wow, you can make statistics say whatever you want… The stats do actually impress me as far as Ward 4 goes– looks like we’re pretty right on with the national average.

    • Right, I noticed this too. 2% to 3.3% (Ward 3) or 6.6% to 10.4% (Ward 1) are actually sharper rates of growth than the 19.8% to 29% in Ward 8.

      • but they reflect smaller amounts of people so the rates would naturally be sharper. if there’s one person out of work and then two more people lose their jobs then you see a tripling of unemployment… don’t get carried away here.

  • Its really not surprising if you know the unemployment stats in America.

    Just highlight Black and not a high school graduate and you will quickly understand why Ward 8 has such a high unemplyment rate. Im not saying that everyone in ward 8 is Black and “not a high school graduate”, but it is overwhelmingly black and I would imagine it has the lowest education achievement amongst all wards in DC.

  • That is SUCH a good point. Why do they feel so entitled??? I traveled a thousand miles for my job here. Why can’t they do the same.

  • I am not sure they are the only ones who feel entitled.
    Groups throughout this city have a sense of entitlement. My neighbors put out a parking cones in front of their houses on a public street.

    I have heard during the economic downturn Law School grads complaining because they are supposed to have 3k a week summer associate position and an Associate Offer paying 135 – 160k upon graduation

    Any unemployed Ward 8 resident who is willing to work and legitimately cannot find a job then s/he has my sympathy. Those who are not trying could care less what I think.

  • Once again, everyone takes joy in verbally beating up the poor, what about Bernie Madeoff, he made off with the money of the rich welfare queens.

  • I am starting to hate the people who comment on this blog.

  • Hey anon 6:26, don’t let three or four bitter comments get you down. Some of us out here in blog-land still have empathy for our fellow citizens facing tough times.

    • amen

      also, many people that pontificate and point fingers in theory often treat people nicely one on one.

      many of the people that come across like assholes online, probably still help out others in ways not expressed.

  • Is unemployment such a bad thing if you can still bring in undisclosed income from drug sales and hits and prostitution, or better yet, just sitting around doing nothing for the sake of doing nothing? or the sake of maintaining the status quo?

  • Maybe give small manufacturers (what’s left of them) massive tax breaks to set up shop there. I agree, though, have to make it safe to work/live also.
    No community can accept a small percentage of its youth terrorizing the vast majority.

    • our areas of industrial and light industrial keep getting smaller and smaller. Adams Morgan has pretty much lost all its industrial space, i think.

      Thoughts of residential in ivy city will move out some of those spaces.

      projects in brookland are threatening the industrial spaces there.

      along new york ave, there is a pocket of industrial, but i bet nearby residents would love to see that changed. and i guess with costoc moving in, that makes it inevitable

      the capitol city markets will probably be gone in 10 years.

      pockets of industrial in takoma still seem to be fine, but time will tell.

      georgetown sailed years ago.

      capitol hill has lost most of its industrial.

      navy yard/ south capitol is becoming yuppie land/suburban entertainment seeker paradise.

      i dont know much of anything east of the river, but there may be hope there. but still dont most people with the power to move things along want restaurants and shopping? they dont want light industrial moving to their hood.

  • Home spun desperation’s knowing
    Inside your cover’s always blown

  • Interestingly enough, I can not even find a handyman over there. Just because they are unemployed does not mean they are are looking for work. Nor does it mean they are able to work.

  • I would suspect that the one in four residents who has HIV/AIDS in this ward, and also the lowest funding for HIV/AIDS, has something to do with the high unemployment rates (front page of Sunday’s WaPost).

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